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During quarantine I’ve been watching my boyfriend play more of his video games lately. The lobbies he’s in tend to be pretty mature, and even toxic at times, despite games that are usually targeted at a young audience (Fortnite for example). Without the supervision of adults during their gaming, I’ve noticed many young children have a tendency to say and do things they and their parents would consider inappropriate even if they have been taught better. I would want to see how many children are influenced by having older gaming members in their lobby and how this effects their speech and gaming decisions.
In this setting, I would be an unacknowledged observer because rather than playing and seeing how children’s behaviors change toward older community members, I would be simply observing through my boyfriend’s game play. According to the text, in this case without informing the children that they are being observed there could be some ethic rule breaking that would occur, but on the other hand, letting the children know that their behaviors are being watched could alter the natural reactivity of the participants (Stangor, 2014).
Some of the behaviors and episodes I included in my coding form would be general examples of aggressive behaviors and how the child would react to it gaming wise and vocally. For example, if an older member choose to curse out of frustration and call the game lame because they weren’t winning, what would the child who witnessed that behavior do in turn? Would their behavior be aggressive, neutral or virtuous in turn? Would their gaming tactics become aggressive, virtuous, or neutral? Aaggressive behavior/gaming would count as mimicking the older peers aggressive behaviors. So in this example if the child chose to curse and run around the game targeting his teammates it would be marked aggressively. Neutral behaviors would be how the child would react if they were playing on their own. A neutral reaction here would be if the child said goodbye to their teammate and continued playing regardless of the thoughts or behaviors of the older member. This reaction is expected to be rather rare given the fact that children tend to look up to and admire older members of communities they are apart of. A virtuous reaction would be something that is said that is positive, corrects aggressive behaviors, or is encouraging/teams-like. So, if the child after seeing this behavior made a comment about how the other member is really good at the game and that they should keep playing to improve, or maybe offering additional help to the suffering teammate, this would be considered virtuous behavior.
Stangor, C (2014). Research methods for behavior sciences (4th ed.) Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
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